Dear Colleagues,

The last few weeks have been fairly busy in terms of the legislation before Parliament.

Young Carers

On 8 October the Secretary of State for Education issued a statement on Young Carers and the Children and Families Bill. It is attached and reflects the draft amendments circulated with the September Bulletin.

Parent Carers

The statement on young carers has been welcomed but it highlights the need to tackle the issue of Parent Carers. The Carers UK briefing note on this was circulated in the September E- Bulletin.

In a recent press statement Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

The changes announced today bring stronger rights for young carers and mean their needs and their families will be considered in a coordinated way. However, to leave parents caring for sick and disabled children with lesser rights to assessment and support than other carers is unacceptable. All carers, whether they are caring for an older parent or a disabled child, should have equal rights.

Parent carers often find it extremely difficult to get services and often struggle to manage care for their disabled child. They should be able to act as a parent not only as a carer to their disabled child, and to other children in their family.

We would like to see the Government act urgently as they have done for young carers to join up the two Bills currently before Parliament so that families with disabled children dont face greater barriers than other carers to support.

Back Care Awareness

Unfortunately the timing of bulletins meant we missed the opportunity to mention Back Care Awareness week at the start of October. The theme of this year's campaign was Caring for Carers. It is estimated that some 70% of carers experience back pain and it is known they are also at greater risk of developing chronic back pain which can be life long and highly disabling. Information on local arrangements for raising back care awareness amongst carers and professionals would be welcomed for the next E- Bulletin. One practical  example I have is Action for Carers Surreyhttp://www.carers.org/news/caring-carers-backcare-awareness-week-2013

Carers of Stroke Survivors - Workshop Update

Arrangements for the afternoon workshop on 18 November are in place. This will include a DVD and group discussions. A detailed note on the workshop, in preparation for this session, will be sent out on 8 November together with an electronic copy of the Caring Conversations Paper. We are not having a print run of this paper so you will need to bring your copy with you: I will try to print a few spares for use on the day.

Feedback on E- Bulletins and Network meetings

It has been usual to use part of the November Policy Network meeting to reflect on our general arrangements for the network. Not everyone is able to get to all the meetings, so do please feel free to send me  any comments or feedback on the E-Bulletins or the meetings you would like to make prior to the meeting and not later than 8 November.

Network Meeting - 18 November 2013 

The agenda has been circulated. Any remaining papers should go out on 8 November 2013. Provisional dates for meetings in 2014 [to be confirmed], if we keep to the same pattern as before would be: 

19 May 2014 and 17 November 2014

Are these convenient please?

E-Bulletin Materials

As always, very pleased to receive materials for circulation through the E-Bulletin.

Kind regards,

Michael